Acts of goodness shouldn't be all that difficult to notice when they occur. But since we often take our cues from history about how we are likely to be regarded, even praises, in some regards, may not be read at face value. Call it suspicion, because that's not such a terrible name for this kind of vigilance; but to regard it as paranoia will be an exaggeration. Whether we have good reasons for our suspicion may be another matter.
The Dangers Facing Advocates of Democracy
It is a common practice by Charles Taylor's paid writers and loyalists dodge and refuse to discuss the real issues confronting our country, despite Taylor's terrible human rights record, and his regime's continued repression of the media and civic society. Instead, his coterie of hired pens and spinmeisters whose stock-in-trade is embellishing their leader's already blemished record, resort to lying to the world concerning his so-called leadership attributes, and making reference to the prism of "development projects" undertaken in Liberia by him.
Bush Administration Extends Liberians' DED Status
Following in the footsteps of the Clinton administration, the Bush administration has extended for another year the immigration status of more than 10,000 Liberians whose current protective status, the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), would have expired on September 29, 2001.
Terrorists in Our Midst (Part II): Political Hysteria
In the last few days, there has been a barrage of letters from the employees of the Executive Mansion and other hired pens of Mr. Taylor pointing accusing fingers to all those who, like us at The Perspective, do not dance naively at Mr. Taylor's attempted overture towards the United States. In his recent e-mail to the editor of the newsmagazine, Mr. Vanii Passawee, the Press Secretary at the Mansion, wonders why we couldn't see any genuine goodness in the tears of Mr. Taylor.
Trip to Liberia was Extremely Depressing - Says Ellen Sirleaf
Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who recently returned from Liberia says her trip was extremely depressing. "The reception, talking to family, to friends, partisans, the public at large in every sense, was very good. In another sense, the trip was very depressing. Extremely depressing because the country is in a very sad state. Very little has been done to restore anything," Mrs. Sirleaf told The Perspective upon arrival in Abidjan.
Pat Robertson's Gold (Washington Post)
Taylor needs the cash. His country is in ruins, though he and Madam Jewel Howard Taylor live well, thanks to sales of Liberia's precious resources and concession fees from foreign investors such as Freedom Gold.
War Crimes Tribunal Needs Funding - Says Amnesty
The London based human rights watchdog group, Amnesty International, issued an appeal on Monday to the world community for more funds for the War Crimes Tribunal being set up by both the Sierra Leone government and the United Nations to put on trial "perpetrators of some of the worst crimes under international law" in war-ravaged Sierra Leone.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Returns Home, Meets with Taylor Today
Liberian opposition leader, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, returned to Liberia on Friday and is scheduled to meet with the Liberian ruler today. Last year, Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf, along with other opposition politicians were implicated in the war in Lofa and were charged with treason.
Symposium on the Degradation of The Liberian Rainforest
The Liberian rainforest, considered as one of the world's last remaining rainforest, has in recent times been subjected to excessive deforestation and pillaging by a plethora of timber and lumber corporations exploiting it. Aside from the environmental concern it has created, it has equally raised political concerns regarding the role timber has played in fueling the crisis in Sierra Leone.
The Snare of Dangerous Propaganda
I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to President Charles Taylor for issuing the order to deploy the National Police throughout Liberia to stave off any attempt to glorify Osama Bin Laden through the sale of his photographs in our country.
Gregory D. Bass: Making a Difference for his Generation
Like a lump in one's throat that is so difficult to swallow, it is almost surreal, so hard to believe, so unimaginable, that the lights have gone off for a comrade and a friend. But this is a fact of life of one's mortality that must be accepted: that one day all of us will have to say good-bye and retire to the other world. Gregory Dafatama Bass life has expired. He died last Friday, September 14, 2001, in Accra, Ghana, after suffering a heart failure.
President Taylor: A Pot Calling Tea Kettle Black
Recently, the Liberian government has been saying: "The civilized world can no longer afford to live in fear just because a bunch of misguided bandits called terrorists decide to hold it in bondage." While the statement is true, it should have gone a little further to include those who have committed atrocities against the Liberian people. This would have automatically included President Taylor, who is engaged in terrorist activities in the West African sub-region by supporting various rebel factions including the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone.
Terrorists in our Midst
It was a sad week for the world. It was a shock to humanity. It was a reminder of how fragile everything in this world is. It was a reminder that forces of evil will do anything against anyone to make a political statement. It was a testimony of how far those bent on using violence to achieve their goals would do.
A Deadly Road Traveled for a Cause
Hate is one of those things that will get the best out of a person or a group of people in the most negative ways. Hate intensifies conflicts and tears apart that which could have been channeled from the mundane to the most fulfilling aspect of life.
Exiled Student Leaders Express Condolence, Solidarity with US
Fifteen exiled Liberian student leaders of the University of Liberia, currently based in Accra, Ghana, who fled Liberia in May of this year, escaping the wrath and terror of the Taylor regime, have expressed their condolence and solidarity with the United States after the September 11, 2001 terrorist assault. The exiled student leaders say that the menace of terrorism and the states which sponsor it is not confined to size or to geography.
Using the Attacks for Political Purpose
The wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers, the epitome of American capitalism, and the Pentagon, the epicenter of U.S. military power, we are saddened by the horrific destruction of innocent lives, and the demonic assault against the freest of all nations. Words not adequate enough to express our condolences to the government of the United States and the American people, and to empathize with them as they go through this national tragedy.
ULAA Denounces Terrorist Attack Against US
The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) has added its voice to the denunciation of the terrorist attacks against the United States which caused the loss of lives of thousands of Americans and foreign nationals when terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Liberian Rights Advocate Arrested
A Liberian human rights advocate, Mr. Thompson Ade-bayo, Executive Director of the Liberia Human Rights Watch (LHRW), a human rights advocacy group, turned himself in to the Liberian Police authorities, and was immediately put under arrest. Mr. Ade-bayo was accompanied by the Acting National Director of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC), Counselor Francis Johnson-Morris, who delivered him to the authorities.
In the last few days, we have witnessed the most violent assault to date on the foundation of the world's "greatest" democracy. By deliberately attacking the "heart" of the United States (US), especially in the manner they did, suspected international terrorists have all but done themselves in.
A Case Against Legalizing Polygamy
Like organisms, societies have a life cycle. From birth, they grow, mature, and die. The pace of growth and their longevity depend on whether they have the capacity to renew themselves. Societies capable of self-renewal are called learning societies. Such societies are characterized by a free and healthy atmosphere for non-violent dissension and divergent viewpoints on local and national issues, tolerance for more than one "Rooster" in town, that is, a recognition of gradation yet equally important leaders in different spheres of society.
The Immigration Question: Who Should Benefit?
Mexican president, Vicente Fox seems to be on the right track in the heyday of his young administration for the many positive things he has done for his people in the short time he become their leader.
Rights Advocate Calls for Disbanding ATU; Goes Into Hiding
A Liberian human rights advocate, Mr. Adebayo, Executive Director of the Liberian Watch for Human Rights, has called for the disbanding of the notorious and infamous Anti-Terrorist Unit, commonly referred to as ATU. BBC Focus on Africa report issued on the 10th, 2001, stated that the rights group in its statement, described the ATU as "unconstitutional" and called on President Charles Taylor to dissolve it.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Last week, I attended one of the ceremonies marking the reunion of former Tubman high school students in Washington, DC. As I looked around the room and moved from a group to another one, I couldn't help to wonder who was left back at home. When I was at the embassy in Washington, I knew there were many Liberians in this country. When I went home in 1997 to see what the new government was all about and to decide to keep my job or not at the embassy, I was faced with the same reality, every Liberian who could get a passport or a visa got out. The saying at the time was 'by any means necessary.' People did everything and anything to get a passport and a visa. Things are much worse today.
Liberia, Sweet Land of Liberty!
Siahyonkron Jglay Kpa-kay Nyanseor, Chairman of the Liberian Democratic Future, served as Installing Officer for the Inaugural Program of the Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas (GGAA), Inc. over the Labor Day weekend in Providence, Rhode Island.
Liberian House of Representatives Speaker Under Siege
The speaker of the Liberian House of Representatives, Nyudueh Morkonmana, of Grand Kru County, is currently embroiled in a controversy of his political life. According to several new reports, disputed by the speaker himself, Hon. Morkonmana has been suspended pending resolution of an investigation by a select committee of the House of Representatives. The speaker informed this magazine yesterday that he is not suspended and that he is going to work today (Sept 10, 2001).
Sierra Leone Government, RUF Differ on Elections
The Sierra Leone government has announced May 14, 2002, as the new date for holding parliamentary and presidential elections. The elections timetable was previously postponed from December 2001 due to what officials described as "logistical problems." There has also been a lack of movement in the disarmament exercise. Out of an estimated 45,000 combatants, only 16,000 had laid down their arms, according to the National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (NCDDR) - the body responsible for disarming and mainstreaming these combatants back into civil society.
Disarmament "Revolving Door"?
Just about four years ago, as rival factions in Sierra Leone's bitter civil war fought violently for the absolute control of State power, the United Nations (UN) Security Council imposed sanctions on the West African nation shortly following the coup, which toppled the elected government of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.
The Wounds of War and the Need for Reconciliation
The dark cloud of insecurity and uncertainty that continues to hang over our country is an issue that is of uttermost concern to all Liberians. For us Grand Gedeans, that cloud has special significance, for the seven-year civil war that brought it about was meant to exterminate us. And as you know, many sons and daughters of Grand Gedeh perished in the war. But for the grace of God, you and I would have been among the dead. I ask you to please rise and observe a moment of silence in honor of our fallen brothers and sisters, as well as other Liberians.
Cause For Celebration
Despised, hounded, massacred and having suffered ethnic cleansing at the hands of Taylor's rebels, National Patriot Front of Liberia, and his current "democratically" elected government, Liberians from Grand Gedeh County have unfairly carried the burden of collective guilt because of their ethnic (Krahn) affiliation with dictator Samuel Kanyon Doe, Liberia's former Head of State. But Mr. John Collins, Sr., a Liberian meteorologist, says that despite all the suffering Grand Gedeans have endured, they have survived and have cause to celebrate. Mr. Collins made the remarks when he served as keynote speaker during the Inaugural ceremony of the Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas in Providence, Rhode Island, this past Labor Day weekend.
LURD Makes Advances Towards Monrovia?
The long-running battle between dissident forces of Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) appears to have intensified once again. According to recent reports, dissidents fighting the Liberian government forces in Lofa County raided a logging company in Gbopolu, a commercial town located 62 miles north of Monrovia. The latest attack is the closest LURD has come near Monrovia - outside the confines of the Lofa war corridor since the war began over a year ago.
The Africans on The Eve of Needed Reforms
Since the end of the Cold War, the world has experienced unprecedented economic growth and political stability. From Asia to Latin and Central America, economic revivals have turned dilapidated cities into enclaves of hope, political stability and economic prosperity. Meanwhile, the Continent of Africa, which is endowed with vast natural resources, continues to experience economic decline, political instability and poverty of unimaginable proportions. The African Continent has 24.6 million people infected with either Aids or the virus that causes Aids (BBC News 2001).
A Commitment to Education
Charles W. Brumskine, former President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate was in Atlanta over the Labor Day weekend to address the annual Seminar and Banquet of the Mission for Liberia (MFL) project. MFL was established by Rev. Napoleon Rayikaye Karr and his wife, Kathy, in Little Collar, Grand Bassa County, in 1987 and has since provided free education for hundreds of Liberian children.
"Contemporees" Meet in Atlanta to Brainstorm
Liberians in the U. S. who follow politics over the years are kind of accustomed to seeing and reading the endless postings or writings of T. Q. Harris over the internet, his "Contemporary Voice," the official newsletter of the "Liberia Contemporees United Patriotic & Strong," (UPS), as the organization is known, or by whatever means Harris can get his message across to the hundred of thousands of Liberians in the United States and elsewhere.
Collaborating Parties Pledge Support for a National Leadership Meeting
Leaders of six Liberian political parties and a democracy promotion civil society organization have expressed support for the proposal to hold a meeting of Liberian national leaders. The proposal is for a National Political and Civic Leadership Forum aimed at finding solution to the deteriorating security, political, economic and social situation in their country.
Of "Control" and "Conspiracy"
In their desperate attempt to divert public attention away from the main issues facing the repressive regime of Liberian President Charles Taylor, some of his staunchest supporters are now wasting no time in pointing their accusing fingers at the international community, particularly, the United States (US), for what they call, trying to "control" him (Taylor).
Liberian Government Violates the Constitutional Rights of Radio Veritas
A Liberian lawyer, in an Open Letter to the Liberian government, through its Minister of Information, Hon. Reginald B. Goodridge, Sr, argues that the government of Liberia refusal to renew the short-wave license of Radio Veritas, a Catholic Radio Station, is a violation of the constitutional rights of that entity. This is the second time in less than two years that the government has shut down this station.
U. S. Disengages from World Conference on Racism?
There's a kind of conservatism in Washington D.C. these days that is making its marks on the nation as to how the United States deals with both domestic and international issues that confront the Bush administration. That kind of conservatism has got many to think and believe that other than attacking crucial and on-going issues head on like his predecessors, the Bush administration has opted to do the opposite by either boycotting a conference, and constantly refusing to be a signatory to treaties that will benefit mankind.
Can Mano River Union Countries Achieve Peace?
Peace initiatives and agreements seem to never be in short supply in the West African region, especially among the Manor River Union (MRU) countries - comprising Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - which have been embroiled in crisis for well over a decade. The problem with the peace agreements is that just as they are signed, they are broken, by either one party or the other never upholds them or simply finds them as a convenient tool to regroup or a breather for removing pressure.
The Democratic Alternative to Armed Violence
It was around Christmas 1989, some twelve years ago, when the BBC announced that a group of armed dissidents had entered Liberia aiming to overthrow the government of Samuel K. Doe. Just ten years earlier, Samuel K. Doe had sprung into the international political scene by assassinating the president of Liberia and the chairman of the organization of the African unity.
Global Witness Director Speaks on Timber and Sanctions
Despite efforts by Liberians residing in the Diaspora and some international organizations such as Global Witness in arousing UN attention to the link between the prevailing terror in West Africa and Liberian timber, the Security Council did not include timber in the sanctions imposed on Liberia. Global Witness, an environmental human rights group, is spearheading efforts to expose the link between the timber industry and arms supply to the RUF in a bid to persuade the Security Council in including timber in the sanctions regime. Recently, The Perspective talked with Patrick Alley, Director of Global Witness, to obtain firsthand information on its position on the inclusion of timber in the UN sanctions.
Taylor Threatens to Impose "State of Emergency"
Is there a threat to Liberia's security? So says President Taylor who addressed the nation last weekend in a live television and radio call-in show dubbed "Issues with the President," using a trial balloon to test the public pulse, and perhaps preparing the way for a decision which has long been speculated to be in the making, President Taylor told Liberians that imposing a state of emergency was necessary in light of the current security and other conditions in the country.
The Stem Cell Debate, Politics and Ethics
Perhaps a stem cell tissue, one of the 60 lines President George W. Bush spoke about during his nation-wide broadcast days ago could have spared him few more years to live; maybe not. However, dad died many years ago after scientists in the United States began discussing the use of stem cell tissues to cure diseases like diabetes, alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries and other diseases that afflict mankind.
West Africa and the Moratorium on Small Arms
Recently the Moratorium on Small Arms in West Africa was extended. Set in place in October 1998, the moratorium was extended on July 5, 2001, by the current ECOWAS Chairman, President Alpha Omar Konare of Mali. But the extension has been described by many as inadequate and carried out in a "light handed manner."
Languishing Behind Taylor's Locks and Keys Without Trial
Recently, the legal counsel for former Auditor General Raleigh Seekie and five others detained at the Monrovia Central Prison on charges of treason have filed a motion to dismiss the charges against the detainees.
Judge Moves to Put Stop to Theft in the Name of God
The recent conviction and sentencing of the leaders of Greater Ministries is a triumph of truth. The head of the Greater Ministry International Gerald Payne and several of his associates were given long-term sentences by court in Tampa Florida on charges conspiracy and fraud. The world knew nothing or little about the activities of Greater Ministries International in Liberia until this paper exposed the criminal activities the company and its officials in Liberia, Niko Shefer and Felix Kramer were engaged in.